Blues down Bearcats, advance to semis

Photo courtesy Northfield Photogrpahy
Photo courtesy Northfield Photogrpahy

CJ Pentland, CapU Sports Information Director

The Capilano University Blues women’s volleyball team clinched a spot in the semifinals of the 2017-18 PACWEST Volleyball Championships, defeating the Columbia Bible College Bearcats 3-1 on Thursday afternoon at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre in Abbotsford.

Fourth-seeded CapU jumped out to a strong start, as well-placed serves and strong play at the net limited CBC’s offensive attack. The fifth-place Bearcats called an early timeout down 9-3, but quickly called another after back-to-back aces by Trina Ewashkiw made it 14-7.

Capilano’s lead started to dwindle down the stretch, and they called a timeout to regroup while ahead 21-19. The Blues then responded – going on a 4-1 run and closing out a 25-20 set win with a Courtney Becker block.

The script flipped in the second set, with CBC getting out to an early lead of their own and forcing an early Blues timeout. The Bearcats pushed their lead to as much as seven, but CapU started to slowly chip away and cut the lead to 17-14. It remained a three-point deficit up until 23-20, when the Blues won four-straight points to bring up set point.

The two sides the alternated winning the next seven points, but CBC broke through at 27-27 to win two consecutive points and take the set – evening the match 1-1.

The third set went back in favour of Capilano, as the Blues again built up an early lead with steady play on their side of the net. CBC called a timeout down 19-13, but CapU kept up their strong play and responded with a 6-1 run to win the crucial third set 25-14.

Capilano again went ahead early in the fourth frame, but CBC hung around and kept it within two points for the majority of the set. The Blues finally went up by three at 18-15, but the Bearcats answered back with two-straight points to force a CapU timeout – and they responded with a run that brought up match point at 24-21.

CBC didn’t go away quietly, as they took the next three points to tie the game at 24 and extend the match. Things remained deadlocked at 25, but the Blues then held firm and took advantage of some CBC miscues to win the next two points and close out the match with a 27-25 win.

PACWEST Second Team All-Star Isabela Lima was named Capilano’s Player of the Game after recording 13 kills and 10 digs in the contest. First Team All-Star Tyneille Neufeld led the offensive charge with 14 kills, while Becker racked up four blocks and Tracy Ewashkiw continued her strong defensive play with 28 digs.

Capilano advances to Friday’s semifinal match-up, where they’ll face top-seeded Douglas College Royals at 6:00pm. A win would advance them to Saturday’s final and guarantee them a berth at the CCAA Nationals hosted by Grande Prairie Regional College in Alberta.

The Blues went 1-3 against the Royals this season, and lost their most-recent meeting in five-sets last Saturday. The game will be played at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre at the University of the Fraser Valley, and it can streamed online at pacwestbc.tv.